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How To Declutter Pillows

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Today's mission is to declutter pillows, including both the ones on your bed and any decorative pillows you have anywhere in your home.

Organize Linen Closet Challenge
This mission is designed to be done while working on the Organize Linen Closet Challenge here on the site, which is one of the 52 Week Organized Home Challenges.

Instructions For Decluttering Bed Pillows

First, focus on getting rid of pillows you use to sleep with each evening.

Get rid of any that you dislike for whatever reason, like that horrible pillow that hurts your neck, or the one that is so old it is falling apart.

Then, get rid of any excess pillows until you're left with a reasonable number.

Generally, as a rule of thumb, you only need enough of these pillows for each of the beds you have in your home.

How to declutter pillows, including both ones used in your bed and also decorative pillows around the home, plus tips for what to do with excess pillows {a #Declutter365 mission on Home Storage Solutions 101} #DeclutterPillows #Declutteringuse this Pin it button to save to Pinterest
If you have guests frequently enough to need some additional pillows, sure, keep some extras. However, consider how many you really need for this purpose, because excess pillows take up a lot of room in your linen closet, or wherever else you store them.

If, when you are examining your pillows, you notice that some are dirty but you want to keep them this may be a good opportunity for you to wash them, to get them freshened back up. Here's instructions for how to wash pillows, plus how to dry them to keep them from getting lumpy.

Instructions For Decluttering Decorative Pillows

After you've focused on the bed pillows, it is time to focus on the decorative

I am about to say something controversial, so remember that you are always the person who makes the decisions in your home about what to keep versus what to get rid of, so my word is far from law. So here's my controversial statement -- I really don't like decorative pillows, and feel the majority of them are clutter.

I know some people love these types of pillows, and if they genuinely bring you joy and you don't feel like they are causing you any type of nuisance, feel free to keep them.

But for me I find them, most of the time, to be clutter because I end up just moving them around from place to place.

For example, decorative pillows on your bed -- all you do is move them on and off. On when you are making the bed and want it to look "pretty", and then off again to sleep in the bed at night. It seems like a waste of time and energy to me. They aren't pretty enough to make this waste of time and energy worth my while, so they're clutter.

If you do choose to keep some of your decorative pillows make sure that you get rid of excess decorative pillows that you don't like or use, and keep only the ones you like, that you have room for, and that match your decor.

Once you've identified which pillows you'll get rid of, see below for some discussion about what you can do with the ones you're getting out of your home.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to closets and bedroom clutter.

Are You Ready To Do This Mission?

Stack of pillows to be decluttered as part of the #Declutter365 missions on Home Storage Solutions 101

Once you've identified for yourself, in your home, which pillows you'll get rid of, you may face a bit of a dilemma like a reader, Linda, did. She sent in the photo above of the pillows she decided to get rid of as part of this mission, saying, "These are leaving the house... So far. Destination to be determined!"

Then, after Linda investigated a bit, she said, "Checked, animal shelter only wants blankets, sheets and towels. Homeless shelter doesn't want used or gently used pillows either. Goodwill/Salvation Army also no pillows, they toss them."

Presumably the reason that these items are difficult to donate is because of the fear of bed bugs and lice within these types of items. That is the same issue that many people have found when trying to donate stuffed animals.

That can make the process of decluttering pillows a bit frustrating, since it appears that unless you can get creative your choice is to throw them away.

What Linda decided to do with hers, since she didn't want them in the landfill, was to burn them. I'm personally not a huge fan of that because with all the synthetic fibers you never know what you're breathing in when you burn stuff like that these days, plus, it is always a fire hazard if the fire you've made gets out of control.

So, for now, my suggestion is to throw the pillows away. You could check and see if they could be recycled somewhere, in a similar manner that rags and scrap clothing are recycled if filling the landfill is something you'd like to avoid.

In addition, for any pillows that are still usable, but that you don't want, you could try to find someone personally, that you could give them too, such as someone setting up a new home, or something like that.

I would also love to hear your suggestions and ideas of what to do with these pillows you want to get rid of, so tell me in the comments below. Hopefully we can figure out, collectively, a good way to deal with these items!

Want To Do More Decluttering Missions? Get Started With Declutter 365 Today!

Declutter 365 missions: 15 minute missions for your entire home

Once you declutter one type of item in your home I bet you'll want to declutter some more. After all, decluttering gives you a great reward for even a small investment of time and energy.

The Declutter 365 system is designed to help you declutter, over the course of a year, your entire house, with just 15 minutes of decluttering each day!

Hundreds of thousands of people use this proven system to get rid of their clutter, and bring peace and calm back to their homes.

Declutter 365 works to guide you to clear the clutter without overwhelm, focusing on just one small area at a time, and without making a huge mess in the process, so you see consistent forward progress without all that "messy middle" that makes it even harder to function in your home than before you started.

In addition to building a daily decluttering habit, the Declutter 365 program, along with the accompanying 52 Week Organized Home Challenge, teaches you the skills, habits, routines, and mindsets necessary to maintain the clutter free and organized state of your home from now on, so it'll never be as messy and cluttered as it is right now, ever again.

If you haven't already, make sure to get your copy of this year's Declutter 365 annual calendar here (it's FREE!), find today's date, and do 15 minutes of decluttering on the day's mission. Then, repeat again tomorrow, and again and again. Over the course of the next year, if you do this 15 minutes per day, you'll declutter your whole house!

Click here to take me to this year's Declutter 365 calendar

Get This Linen Closet Decluttering Checklist + 32 Other Decluttering Checklists For Your Home

Right now you're decluttering your linen closet, and there's a lot of stuff to declutter in this space.

Get your 1 page linen closet decluttering checklist, plus 32 other decluttering checklists, to help you declutter your entire home here.

Get this linen closet decluttering checklist and 32 other decluttering checklists for your home {on Home Storage Solutions 101}

I've done the hard work of breaking down these tasks into smaller more manageable steps for you, so you don't get overwhelmed or worry you're forgetting a task, and you can go at the pace you want, whether that's fast or slow.

In addition, you can tackle these decluttering tasks in whatever order you want when you use these checklists!

Click here to learn more about 33 Decluttering Checklists Pack

Are you tired of doing the decorative pillow dance each morning and evening? If it is more trouble than it's worth to you, make sure to follow these instructions for how to declutter pillows, on Home Storage Solutions 101use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

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Comments for Are You Ready To Do This Mission?

Click here to add your own comments

use of old pillows
by: Anonymous

Crafting people often want old pillows to use as stuffing. I list mine on my local reuse group, and they are always taken.

Throw Pillows
by: Toni

I couldn't stop laughing when I read your comment about throw pillows being a clutter and waste of energy. My husband hates them, so I only have 2 big ones that came with the set. I notice when I visit my niece she has so many on her living room couch and they are in the way all the time. You are right they are nothing but CLUTTER and dust collectors.

what I do instead of discarding
by: Ulka

Instead of discarding old decorative pillows I keep 2-3 sets and keep them changing weekly.

My dog loves old pillows :)
by: Ashley

I launder our old pillows and remove the stuffing. The stuffing gets added to my dog's bed. Her bed gets flat just like old pillows do and this fluffs it right back up. My husband and I are also avid archers and old pillows and rags have gotten repurposed as filling for target bags.

use for old pillows
by: Allison

I like to wash them then take them out to our camper. I throw out the ones in my camper each year. This helps motivate me to get them out of the house. Then its easier to toss them when they smell like camp fire and summer and smelly boys.

Pillow Talk
by: Nickie

My husband and I just got a laugh that you actually have a post on decluttering decorative pillows! This is such an ongoing, but friendly, debate in our home. Dear Husband: 'Why do we have so many pillows that just land on the floor every night?' Darling Wife: 'Because they're so pretty and add texture and ambiance to our room." Our solution is to put most of them at the very head of our bed (where they live), then our regular pillows, and lastly 2 decorative favorites that get pushed to the top at night and on the bed by day. It's a win/win. I get to keep just enough pretty pillows to make me happy and he isn't having to deal with the clutter of them. Not sure this fits with a success in a decluttering mission, but they DO bring me joy and make me smile.......

doing pillows now
by: Jules

I came to see what to do with the pillows I don't want and found your post. Good to know trash/burn is the best idea. I never thought of Goodwill not taking them. And 2 are labeled dry clean only so I couldn't even wash them first.


by: Athena

I'm taking the stuffing out of the ones I'm getting rid of and revitalizing the ones I want to keep as well as our beanbag footrests.

Pillows for Women's Shelter in Greenville, SC
by: Anonymous

Our local women's shelter has a method of sanitizing and killing bed bugs in the used pillows with a special light machine. Please check with the shelter in your area to see if they are accepting pillows.

Useful tips for recycling older pillows
by: Crafty Lady

I wash the older pillows & use the fiberfill to make door weatherstripping so that cold doesn't creep in under the door in the winter by sewing a tube in colors to match your decor & stuff then place at the door threshold to block cold air from blowing in. It also helps seal off a little used room from the expense of heating it! Also use it to make travel pillows for the kids in the car.... I also recycled mine to make a bolster pillow set to keep from hitting my head in the heavy headboard when I sleep. Easy to stitch up a tube and used pigtail covered rubber bands then a matching strip of cloth to cover the rubber bands. Then you also have a ledge to lean your sham
Pillows up against to make the bed so inviting to get into. Additionally, I use the new spare pillows as the guts for my shams. Easier than taking them in & out frequently w/ the actual pillows one sleeps on. New pillows set up pretty use too!! Good luck!!

Pamper your pet
by: Flo

I use old pillows as beds for my cats. I put pillow cases on the pillows so the pillow, itself, stays clean and I regularly wash the pillowcases. I even had one bedpillow for the use of a beloved cat, now deceased. His pillow was at my husband's feet and he slept there, contentedly, every night.

Guest Pillows stored in shams
by: Anonymous

I store the extra pillows that are used for guests on the sofa sleeper, inside the decorative pillow shams on regular beds. I don't mind them flat for the few days we host guests and they don't take up any storage space. Pillows are easy to wash and I launder the pillow covers between the pillows and the pillow cases often.

Pillows as stuffing
by: Anna

I wash them and dry them thoroughly and donate them to children's groups for when they are making stuffed toys or their own cushions.

Holiday pillows!
by: Debbie

I am one of those who loves holiday pillows. It is a simple way to change out the decor for each holiday. It doesn't take much energy to switch out pillows for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter excetera and it gives the house a festive look. I do agree that they don't need to be piled up everywhere but a few of them are a great decorative tool!

pillow recycling
by: klh

In the Dallas area there is a "Big Cat" rescue group that will take old pillows for their aging and ill lions and tigers, etc. Check you local animal rights groups for more information in your area.

Pillow crazy
by: Laura C.

I kept 2 old pillows and covered them with the fabric from a vinyl tablecloth. My kids use them in their tree house and they are waterproof!

Decorative Pillows on Bed
by: Anonymous

I completely agree that decorative pillows on the bed are a waste of time. I love to make my home pretty but I have divested myself of non-sleeping pillows on my bed. That includes the pillow shams that match my comforter. Put them on, take them off, repeat daily. Gone! I do use pretty pillow cases on my sleeping pillows, so they double as decorative AND useful!

Hide guest pillows and have them look like throw pillows
by: Anonymous

You wrote that guest pillows need a lot of space in the cabinet - I simply did not want to carry them around and we have some pull-out sofas for guests who all come with different demands. So I always exchange the sheets when a guest has left and then push the sofa back to being a sofa (it works with the cover over the mattress). Then I put the pillows into extra covers to look like throw pillows. Same with extra rugs, extra linen. I roll up the duvet and hide it in something sausage-like - a nice back-support on the sofa. In Germany, you get those sausage-like covers under the name of side-sleeper support.

Use Pillow Covers to update
by: Carolyn

I ordered pillow covers for all of my throw pillows that don't have the beachy theme that I want for my new home. Amazon has some nice ones.

give to kids going to camp
by: Anonymous

Not sure this will apply this year but I have given old pillows to friends who are sending kids to camp. They use the pillows at camp and throw them out there.

Seasonal pillows
by: Anonymous

I have lots of throw pillows. I used to pile them on an indoor hammock but now it’s gone. I decluttered a few but I made and love most of them. So now I rotate by season and keep the rest in vacuum bags.

Decorative Pillows
by: Fi

I have been making pillow covers out of my holiday pillows/cushions.

I donated the filling to some crafters. And storage for covers is a breeze compared to pillows/cushions!

textile recycling
by: Anonymous

Google "textile recycling" in your city and take your used pillows there. We have a bin near our home. This keeps them out of the landfill!

Thank you
by: Anonymous

You inspired me to consolidate the pillows in my home and for that I am grateful. Thank you.

Pup approved
by: Anonymous

The only extra pillows in our house are 2 old bed pillows that live in our living room, mostly on our couch. My pups love them for napping on.

Ask a Teacher!
by: Joanne

Lots of teachers are looking for flexible seating in their classrooms, and students love to read with pillows on the floor. You can wash the pillows in hot water with bleach and then offer them to a teacher. Even better if you have a cute pillowcase to go with it!

what to do with old pillows....
by: Lili

I made a pillow case with old sheets or bought 2 yards of fabric and my dog has always a comfy bed. When they get too dirty I don't mind to throw everything away and put in use another old pillow and bed sheet.

Decorative pillows
by: Yolanda

Home Staging companies and real estate agents use the expensive well cared for designer pillows for home sales. Never slept on or used. They are placed where they add a bit of colour and texture. They look beautiful in the photos of many room in the home. These pillows are non functional pillows and are like art pieces. They get stored away on shelves and containers. It’s not necessary to ask most men or any husbands for advice on pillows and many other things.

by: Ann Marie Rogers

Question: Is there a way to sanitize pillows, so they can be recycled in some way?

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to closets and bedroom clutter.

Click here to get your Declutter 365 products for 2024

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